Student Spotlight Corner

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Laura Sofia Ortega-Flores

Honors Prelicensure Nursing BS

I grew up in West Valley City, Utah and loved learning about the medical field. During my free time in junior high and high school, I was always in my community serving with my sisters and mother. We translated for the families at the Utah Community Action health clinics with health care providers and served in various roles with this program since 2012. I also enjoyed volunteering at the University Hospital, serving patients who could not communicate well with the nurses and health care team. These experiences and many others throughout this time in my life helped me know where I would find the greatest joy. I never considered a career in nursing until my senior year in high school. After graduating from Hunter High, I enrolled at the University of Utah and participated in the Nursing Early Assurance Program with our College of Nursing.

Since that time, I was given the Utah Lt. Governor's Volunteer Recognition Certificate and named a National Hispanic Health Foundation Scholar and Diverse Scholar with the United Health Foundation. I was given these awards for my academic accomplishments and pursuits in helping serve the Hispanic population, alleviating health disparities, and commitment to advocating for underserved communities. In the coming years, there is to be a huge minority demographic shift not only in Utah but also nationally. What drives my passion in nursing is that with the knowledge I have obtained at our College and experiences of being a diverse student, I can be a bridge between cultures to ensure we all accomplish our vision of advancing the health of individuals and communities. This December I will graduate with an Honors Bachelor of Science in Nursing and am the first individual in my family to receive higher education in the United States. My career goal is to earn a PhD in Nursing to produce new knowledge and lead its implementation into practice, education, and policy. I will focus my efforts on improving culturally competent care, reducing health disparities and advocating for social justice in our community, state, and nation.

Contact Us

For further information, contact:

Ana Sanchez-Birkhead, PhD, WHNP-BC, APRN
Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair
Ana.Sanchez-birkhead@nurs.utah.edu

Nancy Allen, PhD, ANP-BC 
Diversity and Inclusion Co-Chair
nancy.allen@nurs.utah.edu

Melanie Hall
Student Success Advocate
studentsuccessadvocate@utah.edu